Home » NEWS » Federal court panel denies telecom's appeal

Federal court panel denies telecom's appeal

RIPLEY — A federal court panel has ruled against Dixie-Net Communications Inc. in its appeal of an adverse ruling over in-state fees.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by a Mississippi federal judge against Ripley-based Dixie-Net, a telecom business.

At issue was whether calls made under AT&T’s Area Calling Plan and Area Plus services should be treated as local traffic.

Dixie-Net asked the Mississippi Public Service Commission to resolve the dispute. In 2007, the PSC said the calls are local traffic and, therefore, AT&T isn’t required to pay inside-state switched access fees to Dixie-Net for these calls.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mills in Oxford ruled last year for the PSC. Mills said the agreement requires payment when a call is “local traffic,” not where it originates or ends.

The 5th Circuit panel said it would not overrule Mills’ decision.

In 2010, Dixie-Net sued BellSouth Telecommunications Inc., also known as AT&T Mississippi, and the PSC.

Dixie-Net claims that under federal law, “incumbent local exchange carriers” such as AT&T are required to contract with “competitive local exchange carriers” such as Dixie-Net to establish rates and other terms by which AT&T provides a connection to its network so that traffic can flow between them.

The act also requires connecting carriers to make arrangements to pay for calls that begin with one and end with the other.

Dixie-Net had argued before the PSC that calls beginning and ending in the same calling area are not local traffic, and therefore AT&T must pay Dixie-Net for the traffic.

The PSC disagreed.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Megan Wright

Leave a Reply